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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Polystar Inc. for exposing employees to excessive noise after 12 employees' audiograms indicated mild to moderate hearing loss at its manufacturing plant in Stow, Ohio. The company, which does business as Polystar Containment, faces penalties totaling $331,490.
OSHA conducted an inspection of the Polystar facility in response to a complaint. Investigators determined that the company failed to implement an audiometric testing program to monitor employee hearing loss or appropriate controls to reduce noise levels. Investigators also found that Polystar did not use machine guards, provide adequate respiratory protection, remove damaged forklifts from use, train workers on hazardous communication or store flammable materials properly.
"Failing to protect employees from excessive noise can lead to long-term and irreversible hearing loss," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's Cleveland area office director. "Employers are required to take appropriate precautions to keep employees safe from well-known hazards."
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
For more information, visit www.osha.gov.